Silky Crazyweed

Silky Crazyweed
Oxytropis sericea
(Pea family)

Growth Habit: Perennial, herbaceous legumes, common on western rangelands.

Stems: Range from 6 to 12 inches in height. Leafless.

Leaves: Appear on the base of the plant and are covered in fine hairs, giving a whitish-gray appearance.

Flowers: Borne on stem and emerging from the center of the plant, forming a spike-like cluster. White in color, which differentiates from the purplish-pick colored flowers of the Lambert Crazyweed (Oxytropis lambertii).

Seeds: Kidney-shaped, formed in hairy, leather-like pod.

Other: All livestock species can be poisoned by grazing on this plant, however, horses never recover once they are poisoned. Cattle symptoms include loss of weight and abortions. Sheep abortions are extremely high. Livestock generally avoid grazing this plant unless feed is scarce. Once an animal eats crazyweed, they tend to seek it out as a preferred feed source.